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A process not a postcode for nuclear waste

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 10 Jun 2016

The Australian Greens would containerise nuclear waste at Lucas Heights waste facility while an independent, national inquiry into radioactive waste production and management was undertaken.

The dedicated public inquiry would investigate best possible management options for storing nuclear waste, consideration of waste minimisation options while maintaining the federal legislative prohibitions on the importation, storage and disposal of international nuclear waste.

Senator for South Australia Robert Simms said the decision should not be which Aboriginal community was dumped with the most dangerous waste in the world.

"For more than 20 years the Australian Government has been asking the wrong question on nuclear waste. We should be asking what is the most appropriate way of managing and isolating various categories of nuclear waste and how can we minimise the production of nuclear waste?" he said.

The Greens plan would:

• Containerise and isolate domestic intermediate-level radioactive waste at ANSTO's Lucas Heights facility for extended interim storage.
• Hold an independent Inquiry into national radioactive waste production and management.
• Ensure non-imposition of radioactive waste management sites, commit to a siting process that is dependent on community consent.
• Remove the Wallerberdina nominated site from further consideration as a potential location for a national radioactive waste facility due to clear local opposition and given the unique cultural heritage values.
• Halt plans to increase production of medical isotopes for export and move towards non-reactor based production of medical isotopes.
• Ensure federal legislative prohibitions on the importation, storage and disposal of international nuclear waste are maintained.

"The Governments plan is about creating more waste, targeting remote communities and paying compensation - a process purely focused on securing a site," said Senator Simms.

"The Greens policy delivers a way forward by redirecting existing funding of $30million from the current process to a new deliberative public inquiry - focused on transparency and evidence to come up with the best possible solutions."

"The strong community opposition has seen this nomination process fail time and time again. We are seeing this repeat in the Flinders Ranges where the Adnyamathanha and pastoralists and coming together to combat the nomination of Wallerberdina Station connected to the Yappala Indigenous Protected Area."


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